Thursday, 20 May 2010

Susan Collis exhibition

This exhibition entitled ‘Since I fell for you’ at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, showed some of Susan Collis’ older work and a new commission. In her earlier work she subverted the objects found in galleries during the setting up of exhibitions, such as overalls and ladders, by carefully embroidering ‘paint splashes’ on the overalls and inlaying mother of pearl ‘stains’ on the ladder. She is now collecting items from skips and refurbishment projects in is an effort to move away from items that have a relationship to domestic scale. The first room of this exhibition held her new commission, which seemed to be an unready and unprepared wall with rawlplugs, screws, staples and paint stains on it, however, careful inspection revealed they were carefully made of precious metals, gems and coral. The pretence that the gallery is not yet ready for visitors is also heightened by the installation of a bucket collecting dripping water in one of the galleries. In the catalogue she says she is now trying to introduce oppositions into her work such as dirty and clean, tidy and messy, and well crafted and un-made. She obviously likes dualities of meaning which is why she uses precious materials but in such a way that they appear quite ordinary.

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